Benchmark mortgage rate rises in U.S. housing market

Xinhua News Agency | Sep 13, 2019 at 3:20 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Mortgage rate rose in the United States last week, the U.S. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac, said on Thursday.

For the week ending Sept. 12, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) increased to 3.56 percent from previous week's 3.49 percent.

The benchmark 30-year FRM was significantly lower than the previous year when it averaged 4.6 percent.

Besides, Freddie Mac noted that 15-year FRM this week increased to 3.09 percent, which was slightly higher than previous week's reading of 3 percent. The rate of 15-year FRM was also lower over the year and the figure was 4.06 percent for the same period a year ago.

"Pipeline purchase demand continues to improve heading into the late fall with purchase mortgage applications up nine percent from a year ago," said Sam Khater, chief economist of Freddie Mac.

"The improved demand reflects the still healthy underlying consumer economic fundamentals such as a low unemployment rate, solid wage growth and low mortgage rates. While there has been a material weakness in manufacturing and consistent trade uncertainty, so far, the American consumer has proved to be resilient with solid home purchase demand," Khater added.

Freddie Mac is a corporation founded by U.S. Congress, aiming at promoting the stability and affordability in the U.S. housing market by purchasing mortgages from banks and other loan makers. The corporation has been conducting weekly surveys on U.S. mortgage rate since April 1971.